Spelling in the National Curriculum in England
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)
The National Curriculum for Year 1 states that pupils should be taught to:
- Spell words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught
- Spell common exception words (such as the and was)
- Spell the days of the week
- Name the letters of the alphabet
- Add some prefixes (such as un–) and suffixes (such as –ing and –ed) to words
In Year 2, children’s knowledge of spelling is assessed by a teacher assessment of children’s writing. There is also an optional grammar, punctuation and spelling test that schools can choose to use to help them make an assessment about children’s understanding in these areas. The National Curriculum for Year 2 states that pupils should be taught to:
- Use knowledge of phonics to spell words correctly
- Learn new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones (such as there/they’re/their )
- Spell common exception words (such as because)
- Spell more words with contracted forms (such as it’s)
- Learn the possessive apostrophe (singular)
- Add suffixes to spell longer words (including –ment, and –ly)
Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)
In Years 3 and 4, children in English schools will continue to develop their spelling. The National Curriculum outlines the spelling rules that children will learn in Year 3 and Year 4:
- Use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them (such as dis– and –sure)
- Spell further homophones (such as except/accept)
- Spell words that are often misspelt
- Use the possessive apostrophe accurately (plurals)
- Use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary
The National Curriculum for Years 5 and 6 expects children to be able to:
- Use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them (such as –able and –ible)
- Spell some words with ‘silent’ letters (such as knight)
- Continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused
- Use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling
- Use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words
- Use a thesaurus
By the end of Year 6, children are expected to understand and be able to meet the challenging spelling demands outlined in the National Curriculum.
Here are some great interactive games to support children to practise spelling patterns and high frequency words.
Reads for 1 minute a day.
180 minutes per school year.
8,000 words per school year.
Will probably do 10% better in a test than if they didn’t read at all.
Reads for 5 minutes a day.
900 minutes per school year.
282,000 words per school year.
Will probably do 50% better in a test than if they didn’t read at all.
Reads for 20 minutes a day.
3,600 minutes per school year.
1,800,000 words per school year.Will probably do 90% better in a test than if they didn’t read at all.